To be enjoyed

1. Tomorrow morning I head south to pick up my new “friends”. Yes, my plates are coming home with me. The woman I am getting them from has been sharing the most wonderful emails with me about her life and love of all things dish-y. “the broken cup that holds pencils on her desk-her crystal salt and pepper shakers that now are individual flower vases for guests place settings.” She sounds wonderful. I am actually looking forward to meeting her just as much as I am about getting the plates. (will maybe not just as much 😉 )
2. I have been having really interesting encounters with women lately. First there is this woman I am meeting tomorrow. Second, was very emotional and just heart wrenching. Last night, as Steve and I were cleaning up the kitchen the phone rang. When I answered, the woman on the other line told me that my name came up on her caller id and wondered why I had called her. I was very unsure, as to who she was and tried to help her come up with why my number might be on her caller id. Then came the reason she was calling people on her caller id. Her husband had died recently and she had been getting lots of calls for him and she was trying to return as many as she could and as she spoke these words her voice cracked and I could just feel in my heart her anguish and still raw emotions. She and I stayed on the phone for close to 10 minutes realizing in that time that she was my baby-sitter’s neighbor. My baby-sitter’s husband was the first one to help her when she came home to her husband on the floor. The whole story came flooding out. And she just kept telling me how wonderful I sounded and how wonderful I was and just crying. I felt something sacred about being a witness to her story when she so obviously still needed to tell someone about what is happening to her. And the third encounter involves my use of FreeCycle. I found someone in North Berwick, around the corner who offered embroidery hoops, floss and big needles so I can start the girls on some embroidery fun this summer. Tonight after dinner I popped over to her house-a fabulous old farmhouse and spent some time talking with her about sewing-she loves penny rugs-and other such things. I stayed for a while. When I got home I had an email from her, offering even more supplies to me.
So I guess upon further reflection, I am learning and enjoying the fact that people really are good. People from all over are looking for connections and really like helping each other. Sometimes we have to reach out to make that happen. We sometimes can find it in the oddest times and places.
3. Did I mention that I am getting my plates tomorrow?
4. Tonight during bedtime the girls and I read two book. Froggy Bakes a Cake– “Frroooggggy! Whaaat?” And The Bed Book by Sylvia Plath. My mother and her husband gave me that book when I was about 6. Sylvia Plath wrote a fabulous book about the different kind of fabulous beds we can have and dream about. It set the girls and I off on a search for what would make us the happiest. Definitely one that made breakfast. Ella would like one that she could stay in all day and had a dishwasher. Highly recommend this book.
5. The Weekend! And the fact that my principal was kind enough to encourage me through a backward facing day that soon I would be on the road home to my family and guess what…he was right.
6. Forgiveness. Forgiveness when you throw an adoring(and adored) student under the bus-the way adults are so good at doing, but I was not supposed to be one of those adults. After a week or more of the cold shoulder and the silent treatment, she accepted some kind words and a hug before walking out the door today. Ahhhh-forgiveness.
7. My family-an evening of homemade pizza eaten around the living room amid giggles, songs, stories of the day, and love.

A little normalcy, please

Alright, I am breathing and feeling a little more relaxed. I just made a t-shirt for Ella’s friend’s birthday. Mr. Levi is very into sea creatures right now. So Sea Turtle it is…

Ella wants to make him a stuffed octopus. If it is really a rainy weekend we will give that a go on Saturday.

A great dinner tonight. Easy, and very yummy! Two thumbs up and empty plates from the wee ones.
Asian Slaw with Chicken.
2 tblspn soy sauce
rice vinegar
vegetable oil
1 tblspn hoisin sauce
one garlic clove minced
Wisk all together.
Saute chicken chunks (or tofu for you veggies out there) in a little peanut oil and garlic
One bag of that yummy broccoli slaw-we decided next time we are using two bags because it wasn’t enough…now that it is summer- use cabbage, bok choy, red peppers, carrots, whatever…
Mix it all together-add fresh cilantro and chives from your herb garden.

Get wows from your family!

A tad obsessive

I am feeling a little like a scorned and obsessive lover. It has been two days since I last heard from the woman I am wanting to buy the plate set from and it is driving me a little batty. Here are two more items that came up in my EBAY auto search (thank you Colleen, or maybe I should say darn you…it is only adding to my obsessiveness)
The Ice Tea Tumbler-Maybe some Mint Bourbon Iced Tea?

And the Milk Glass Fire King Mixing Bowl. Siiigggghhhh

Hey, some people have shoes, some people have addictions to cigarettes, my addiction is place settings. It could be worse.

Look what I found!

I found a 64 piece set on craigslist. The cups are different but the same pattern…

A wonderful woman-her grandmother’s set. I think I will be bringing it home. It will be happy here.

The Randall kids are spending the night. Their parents are off in Manchester seeing Van Halen. LUCKY! Oh well, I am glad one of us is having a good time. I will take one for the team. I got some herbs planted in my barrel. We also planted Molly’s bean plant from school. We were all a little worried that nothing was going to come up-Except Molly-she knew it would come up. Think-The Carrot Seed.

I have to say four kids after a day of work-happy I just have two on a regular basis. It is always sweet to be able to share my love with other kids and know that they are comfortable here in these walls. I am enjoying watching these kiddos grow with my own. It feels awesomely special.

Only 16 days of school left. But who is counting? ME!

P.S. A recipe for a great summer cocktail. Not sure I would ever make it, but maybe and it sounds YUMMY! The bitten word has the recipe for Bourbon Mint Tea.

Because it is such a great idea!

Update:  I am little disappointed I have not got much response to this activity.  As a tease, I have the recipe for Holly’s Devilish Eggs—but maybe I won’t share.  😉  PEDRO-of all people, I was sure you would have a recipe for me!

My sister-in-law came up with this great fun idea to share some Summer Salad Recipes. She is doing this fun over at her blog—As The Roes Grow. In an effort to sweeten the bowl, she and I agreed I should carry on this activity over here. So as summer picnic season descends upon us, wouldn’t it be great to have a new dish to wow your friends and family with? All you have to do is email me a recipe for one of your favorite summer dishes at She and I will both be posting all these recipes on Sunday June 1st. Oh the culinary JOY! I love it!

Confused? It is late and I am a little fuzzy from tiredness, just email me for clarification.

Should I collect it? I just don’t know

Over the weekend I found one of these plates at a garage sale and bought it for 35 cents. I absolutely love it. And now that I have seen the cups, saucers and bowls…I love it even more. I am tempted to start the gathering of all things Salem Biscayne 63U. My problem is…do I bid on ebay 11 bucks for 4 plates plus shipping…a total of 25 bucks when it is all said and down? I have already only paid 35 cents for my one lovely plate…I don’t want to pay more than that. I have been spoiled. It really is lovely though, isn’t it? Sigh-maybe I will begin the hunt and hope to pay no more than a dollar a piece. Wish me luck and keep your eye out.

I am singing the back to work blues

Ever since I was a kid I always got this sadness, a malaise, the blues about having to go back to school after a weekend, vacation, whatever. I still get it. It is most pronounced after awesome weekends such as this one. I want to keep playing and puttering around the yard. I want to hang out with people, mostly my kids. Darn it. I don’t want to go to school.

Saturday morning, my friend Deb called at 8:30 and asked if the kids and I wanted to go treasure hunting (garage sales). So we armed each of the kids with three dollars in quarters and purses and wallets for all of them. We all piled in the van and we were off. I have to say the kids made out like bandits and they had so much fun. I found two great plates for a total of 75 cents. I love them. Deb got some plants and a sprinkler head. But the kids, oh my…free scarves, a hello kitty purse for 25 cents that had plastic crap in it, a free bag of barbies, a wallet, a porcelin duck for 25 cents, a bouncy ball for 10 cents, a necklace and bracelet for a buck…on and on and on. Yes we are trying to rid ourselves of clutter, but they had so much fun. And everything was enjoyed and admired all weekend long. Saturday afternoon the kids stayed with the Randalls while Steve and I attended a co-workers Memorial service-we took the opportunity to spend some time in Kennebunk for some snacks at Federal Jack’s after the service. The scenery and atmosphere was just what we needed-and the lady next to us breaking out into Don’t You Forget About ME very loudly. That was good too.

Sunday was a morning full of planting and playing and then on to the Dover Nasons for some family time. Please see Deuce Spruce for some good pics of the day, as I took the evening off from pictures. Needless to say, I very much enjoyed the time, especially the extra love I got from my niece during tumble time in the yard.

Today, more frolicking in the yard, a trip to the beach, and home for a great meal on the deck.

Molly, pool princess

Right before I took this they were loving each other-how quickly they can turn on each other.

The hammock is out. Good times. Wherever you are Gillian Waterman-this wedding gift makes us happy still.

The view from the patio this morning.

Matching bathing beauties.

What to do with a day of hooky.

When our babysitter informed us that she was going to need the day off today, I was peeved and annoyed.  Today I want to shake her hand and hug her in thanks.  I have enjoyed this beautiful day before Memorial Day Weekend.  Molly and I did the Reny, Garage Sale, Marden’s circuit after dropping Ella off at school and returning home for lunch.  When we returned home we entered our house around the back as the patio was in it’s final stages and inside our house was getting scoured from top to bottom.  Some well-spent dollars if I do say so myself.  Our tile floor has not sparkled like this since the day we installed it.  Our whole house smells fantastic.  After grabbing Ella and playing on the playground for a bit, we ran over to Irish so I could get my hair cut.  Getting home we all crashed for a bit and then headed across the street to “the meadow” to collect some lilac.  As I sit here watching the girls gallop around and play school, happily entertained, I feel so blessed.  Today I asked the magic 8 ball if I was one lucky lady and it replied-“ah, not.”  (it’s a high school musical 8 ball) So I have to believe a little bit that some of this greatness is all deserved after a very long and hard few months.  The magic 8 ball does not lie.

Some beautiful flowers…from a beautiful girl…

Molly racing up the drive to the lilacs-

Needing a rest

The fruit of our labors…aka a walk to the meadow

The patio is complete

Above the sink.  I had given my mother-in-law my scented geranium and it became a huge , gorgeous plant.  I have missed it since it did not last after she passed away.  I just purchased a new one and I think of her every time I rub and smell it’s lemony leaves.

Our eating area all shiny and clean.  See lilacs in the corner.  Their scent is heavenly.

Plants finding a new home on the patio.  My house seems to be happy or maybe it is all our happy energy in it. 

Happy where I am.

This morning I was off site for our 6th grade Awareness day-a day spent warning and informing kids about alcohol addiction, yada, yada. I have for the past three years done a presentation with our school nurse. By now we are experienced and perfect in our deliverance and performance of this presentation we call Connections. At the end of the session we do an activity with kids where someone has to put on a hat, a shirt, button four buttons, unbutton, take off the shirt, take off the hat…and it is all timed. They do that and then we add a balloon to the challenge. The balloon—aha—represents addiction. Kids make the connection that everyday things lose focus instead the focus turns to the balloon-addiction. Kids love this activity. They totally get it, but they love the challenge. Sometimes kids are really good at the activity. We talk about functional alcoholics when that happens.

So today we had 5 minutes left with our last group so a bunch of kids wanted a try at the balloon activity to see how long it would take them. I stepped out to return a frantic phone call from my v-principal who was dealing with one of my regular customers. Our afternoon presenter showed up and she is someone I have worked with before so she stopped to say hi. She gazed at the hall where there were shrieks of laughter and cheers and asked “what are you doing in there”. I looked into the hall and looked at her and said-“teaching them how to be functional alcoholics.” It got us going-“look kids we know you are going to drink-so really let’s be realistic-you have to be able to juggle all these things-school, sports, and binge drinking.” “Know when to say when—drink lots of water-asprin before bed-“. Lots of times inappropriate jokes creep up around me at work.

So this afternoon, I was talking to the high school guidance counselor and he informed me that the part-time counselor was leaving to be a stay at home mom. In an instant I thought of a three day work week. He told me to think about it. It was really appealing. After not getting Steve on the phone-I ran up to my other friend to get his opinion. Seriously within a few minutes I knew I would not leave. I can not imagine not working at my school. My afternoon was the working of a well-oiled machine. I am amazed at the things I can take care of with my v-principal and principal. We dealt with three different issues in a matter of about a half hour. And the fact that I know how to annoy certain people and I know those people I can laugh with…why would I go anywhere else. I am happy where I am.

I love this stuff…

I am very excited to report that our front patio is being started on.  Today I got a call at work alerting me to the fact.  It will be so fabulous…we will put a bench, a chair.  What a great place to relax at the end of the day.  Have a glass of wine, watch the children play.  I am going to plant a couple containers full of herbs.  It will be lovely.  The stone on the side will be swept away and that will become grass.  We will have stepping stones coming off the patio around to the driveway.  I LOVE IT! Come on over for a visit, a glass of wine, some chatter.  You are invited anytime.

Caution this video is all kid, all silliness.  But it makes me laugh.  So thought I would share.